Concerns for future of ambulance station
CONCERNS have been raised at reports that Almondsbury’s ambulance station could be closed.
South Western Ambulance Service has launched a review of its performance and says it will spend an extra £12 million to improve response times, employing more than 240 extra frontline staff.
But the move also involves looking at the best place to locate crews, vehicles and stations, and staff have claimed it could see the station at Oaklands Drive shut, along with those in Soundwell in Bristol and Keynsham.
The trust has declined to confirm which stations, if any, are under threat, but a petition has already been launched to save the Keynsham station.
A service spokesman said: “The demand on the ambulance service and the nature of the calls we receive has changed significantly over time and some of our stations are no longer located where we need them to be. Many of our stations are also in need of significant repair and refurbishment.”
He said crews were rarely at a station as they were out treating patients or on standby elsewhere but they would always have a base station for shift changes and breaks.
He said: “There will be a small number of changes to stations linked to the implementation of this plan, including changes to existing facilities that need updating because we have outgrown them, but there will not be significant numbers of station closures.”
South Gloucestershire councillors Keith Burchell and Matthew Riddle, whose Severn Vale ward includes Almondsbury, said: “We are very concerned if the Almondsbury ambulance station did close, as it serves our local residents.
“We are calling on the ambulance service to give assurances that the response times would be the same, if not better, under any new arrangements for the Severn Vale. We represent a very rural ward, where homes and businesses are very spread out.”